Speech by Lim Kit Siang the DAP Damansara/Paramount Garden Dinner “Moving Selangor Forward” at Damansara Palace, Kota Damansara, Selangor on Thursday, 19th March 2009:
Najib Countdown – double meaning for “N” in the RAHMAN prophecy
This is countdown time for Datuk Seri Najib Razak – with a week to go to his anointment as UMNO President next Thursday to be followed by his ascension as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia in the first few days of April.
What is clear is that Najib’s takeover as Prime Minister of Malaysia will not be on April 1 so that it would not go down in history as “April Fool’s Joke”!
As it is, Najib’s impending takeover as the sixth Prime Minister is sufficiently dogged, hounded and haunted by grave doubts and allegations about his integrity and legitimacy, to the extent that for the first time in the 52-year history of Malaysia, strong objections are being raised publicly about the suitability of the Prime Minister-in-waiting, hardly a fortnight to his ascension to the highest political office in the land – and which is growing stronger by the day.
There are so many so skeptical and cynical about Najib’s suitability, integrity and legitimacy to become the next Prime Minister that they have spawned an increasing chorus of calls to stop Najib from becoming the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The latest to join this chorus is the former Law Minister, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who called on the Yang di Pertuan Agong to reject Najib if UMNO puts him forward as Prime Minister to replace Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and to appoint someone who would “bring us back from the brink”.
There are online campaigns to get Abdullah to remain as Prime Minister even after the UMNO General Assembly next week, not because Abdullah is an effective and successful Prime Minister but because his replacement, Najib, is “evil”.
Although Abdullah’s popularity rating had plunged from a record high of 91 per cent in November 2004 to 61 per cent in January 2008 (just before the March 8, 2008 general election), down to 46 per cent in Dec 2008, he was at all times more popular than Najib, as demonstrated by the following surveys by Merdeka Centre:
I do not think anyone will dispute that if an opinion poll is now conducted, Najib’s popularity would have fallen further even below the lowest point of 34% recorded in July last year, while Abdullah would have improved in his popularity rating.
However, there are others who feel that asking Abdullah to remain as Prime Minister is not the real option and propose that a more suitable candidate should be chosen from the present UMNO ranks, with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s name most often mentioned in this context.
There is of course another scenario, which is for Pakatan Rakyat to replace Barisan Nasional at the federal government, but as the numbers are not present, this option is not really available.
Putting aside for the moment the question as to how real or realistic are these growing rumblings to stop Najib from become the next Prime Minister, the inescapable fact is that such public opposition to a Prime Minister-in-waiting is happening for the first time in the 52-year history of the nation, as was never the case in the nation’s history, whether Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad or Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
In fact, such doubts and objections to Najib taking over as the new Prime Minister seems to growing stronger by the day, the nearer to Najib’s ascension to the highest political office in the land.
This is why Najib’s RM60 billion second economic stimulus package have failed to rally confidence, as he is seen as the most divisive and distrusted Prime Minister-designate, who will not enjoy the customary political honeymoon of “First 100 days” for new Prime Ministers, as his Machiavellian machinations in his pre-100 days, like the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak, the selective and malicious prosecution of DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh for sedition and the arbitrary and high-handed one-year suspension of DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Deo Singh without pay and parliamentary privileges, have created widespread concern whether Najib’s ascension as the sixth Prime Minister marks the start of a national nightmare.
This also raises the question whether the “N” in the most famous political prophecy in the country, RAHMAN about the first six Prime Ministers in the country, has a double meaning – that it signifies Najib as Prime Minister after Tunku Abdul Rahman, Razak, Hussein Onn, Mahathir and Abdullah, but it also marks the “end” of the line of Umno Prime Minister, UMNO hegemony and Umno government in the next 13th general election.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor